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Floyd Bennett Edit Profile

aviator

American aviator, who piloted Byrd in a flight over the North Pole from a base at Spitzbergen; it was the first successful flight over either of the poles.

Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn's first airport, was named for him in 1931.

Education

He enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed at Pensacola, Fla., and at Hampton Roads, Va., where he received training as an airplane pilot and mechanic.

Career

After serving on the U.S.S. Richmond from 1920 to 1925, he was selected by Admiral Richard E. Byrd to participate in the MacMillan Expedition to Greenland.

In 1926 he made an 8,000-mile (12,875-km) flight around the United States to demonstrate the feasibility of scheduled airline operations.

On Apr. 16, 1927, Bennett was severely injured while testing the airplane America, in which he had hoped to accompany Byrd on a transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. After his recovery he was planning a flight to the South Pole with Byrd when he volunteered to fly to the rescue of two German airmen, forced down on Greenly Island, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, after a transatlantic flight from Ireland. Bennett contracted pneumonia during the rescue flight and died in Quebec, Apr. 25, 1928.

Achievements

  • On May 9, 1926, he piloted Byrd in a flight over the North Pole from a base at Spitzbergen; it was the first successful flight over either of the poles. For this achievement Bennett was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and a gold medal by the National Geographic Society.